The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) Releases New
Bathroom Technology Awareness and Usage Report
Consumers embrace Wi-Fi connectivity, voice activation, comfort features and water-leak detection as primary wants for smart tech in the bathroom; Need for designers and tech integrators to collaborate on projects
HACKETTSTOWN, NJ — (September 16, 2019) — According to the newest research from the National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA), 60% of homeowners want technology in their master bathrooms. Their goal: to enhance the space with products and capabilities that create a comfortable, relaxing and safe area. Top-of-mind tech solutions for homeowners include smart showers, heated floors, centralized and motion-control lighting, leak detection devices connected to mobile apps, sound systems and connectivity. These findings are part of the NKBA Bathroom Technology and Awareness and Usage Report, commissioned by NKBA in collaboration with CEDIA, the Custom Electronics Design and Installation Association.
The goal of the study was to better understand awareness and usage of technology in the bathroom by consumers as compared with the professional design and whole-home technology integrators’ understanding of consumer wants and knowledge on the topic. While 60% of consumers feel technology is essential in the master bathroom, 60% of designers and 68% of technology pros do not, demonstrating a significant gap between consumer knowledge and use as compared with trade professional awareness of consumer knowledge and use of technology.
“Homeowners are bringing technology into their homes,” said Suzie Williford, EVP of Industry Relations and Chief Strategy Officer of NKBA. “In this instance, they are knowledgeable about what’s out there and are comfortable asking for it. We continue to study the market, learning what’s driving homeowners. Sharing these insights with our members and collaborative partners like CEDIA helps chart a course for deeper collaboration. Together, we deliver beautiful, safe, functional homes.”
Homeowners are savvy about their desire for smart plumbing devices like automatic temperature adjustment (69%), hands-free or touch-free faucets (64%), water leak alerts to mobile devices (63%), hands-free/touch-free toilet (63%) and tubs/showers that can be adjusted remotely from mobile devices (56%). Lighting controls from one location (60%) and motion-sensor lighting (59%) are also top items for homeowners. Designers and technology integrators collaborating on master bathroom projects can add value to their roles by alleviating homeowner questions, providing confidence and guiding product decisions.
Despite integrators actively promoting structured wiring, remote locks and video monitoring, few homeowners have experience with these products. Homeowners perceive brands like Kohler, Samsung, Amazon and Google as cutting-edge manufacturers/providers in the master bathroom space. By bringing technology integrators into project planning discussions early, the integrators and designers can help homeowners make better decisions and plan for seamless design and tech integration.
Designers would appreciate receiving more training and education from technology integrators, offering broad overviews of bathroom technology, presentations on successful integrations and pricing guidelines. The opportunity for designers and technology integrators to partner on master bathroom projects is great, as homeowners value the advice offered by designers and integrators to create a smooth integration of technology systems throughout their home — without a “techy” look.
To learn more about the NKBA Bathroom Technology Awareness & Usage Report, contact Julie McCrary, White Good, firstname.lastname@example.org. To purchase a copy, visit www.nkba.org.
About the National Kitchen & Bath Association and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show
The National Kitchen & Bath Association (NKBA) is the not-for-profit trade association that owns the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show® (KBIS), as part of Design and Construction Week ® (DCW). With nearly 50,000 members in all segments of the kitchen and bath design and remodeling industry, the NKBA has educated and led the industry since the association’s founding in 1963. The NKBA envisions a world where everyone enjoys safe, beautiful and functional kitchen and bath spaces. The mission of the NKBA is to inspire, lead and empower the kitchen and bath industry through the creations of certifications, specialty badges, marketplaces and networks. For more information, visit www.nkba.org or call 1-800-THE-NKBA (843-6522).
KBIS® and NKBA® are registered trademarks of the National Kitchen & Bath Association.